Dear Anakin: Welcome
Anakin, 2009/11/28, 5 days old
You are a gift countered our expectations.
Daddy and mommy had been waiting for your coming for two years. Your brother Aaron had been asking for you since your cousin Ethan received your cousin Ian. Just when we had given up the blessing of having a second child – daddy gave Aaron’s car seat away, mommy planned for a trip to India in May, Aaron… well, maybe Aaron was the only one who remained hopeful – alas, God answered our prayers.
From the very beginning, we were so sure of our “intuitions” that you be a girl. Daddy and mommy dreamed about you, and you were a girl in our dreams, literally. Grandma Lin insisted that your brother Aaron’s feminine features would surly bring about a sister. Grandma Kou, Uncle Greg, and Aunty Lay always referred to you as mei-mei. And in our prayers, we were very specific in asking for a girl… well, as a 12-week-old fetus, you confronted our disappointment – though, daddy still insisted that what the doctor saw was a protrusion of your spin… . Then, with the amniocentesis report, you confirmed our ultra letdown.
You are a blessing hard to earn.
Mommy had an easy time with your brother Aaron during pregnancy and in labor. There were no morning sickness, no pain in any part of my body, and mommy ate like a pig when pregnant with Aaron. The labor was a breeze. On the date of Aaron’s expectancy, mommy showed red in the morning and still went to work until Uncle Stephen (mommy’s boss then) insisted that mommy go home at noon. Afternoon went, evening came, mommy was still walking about in ease. Only at mid-night mommy started having some labor pain. Mommy and daddy waltzed in the living room until 3:40am, when Grandma Lin insisted that we go to the hospital when she saw the pain intensified. Mommy arrived at hospital around 3:50am fully diluted, water broke, doctor arrived, mommy got into labor room, and Aaron was out by 5:21am. During the process, though in pain, mommy had time to chat with daddy while he video taped. And, even in labor itself, mommy was able to tell the nurse to stop pushing my stomach in between the two contractions that brought about your brother Aaron. As you will see in the video that daddy took, mommy had it easy.
With you, my little one, you had to make your entrance memorable. From the beginning of conception, you made yourself known. Mommy had evening sickness – yes, even that you had to make it different from the norm – for the first 4 months. In the two meals that you did let mommy eat, you only allowed veggies. Mommy had pelvic pain so severe that I would actually be awake from my sleep. At week 32, you seemed to have wanted to come out early so doctor ordered bed rest for a week. Though, eventually, you were good to stay put after the bed rest until after 11/20, when mommy finished the first course in the Master in Education program.
Then, came the actual labor. Give mommy’s experience with Aaron, everyone expected you to be just as easy. All the families and friends expected it, mommy expected, even the experienced doctor, who also delivered Aaron, expected it through out all the checkups during pregnancy that you would come smoothly and quickly.
In the morning of 11/22, at the mark of 39 week full, mommy showed red. I went to the doctor and he said there was no dilution at all yet, but you should come within a day or two. But the water started leaking and continued throughout the day. At night, mommy started having some mild contractions. After putting your brother Aaron to bed, in the care of Grandma Kou, mommy and daddy went to the hospital at midnight, thinking I must have been 8cm diluted. In the observation room, the nurse informed that I was only 2cm diluted, but we were checked-in because water had broke. Daddy sat by mommy, but the contracts came sporadically and inconsistently in both frequency and intensity. The most painful part in that first 12 hours after checking in was the hourly internal checkup… because your head was still so high and they had to be able to touch your hair.
From 12 mid-night to 8am, you stayed-put at 2cm dilution. At 8am, doctor ordered induction medication of 2mil. The contraction pattern remained incoherent and progression was so slow that I was only 4cm diluted at noon, which was 12 hours that I had been in the observation room!! We were all concerned that if you were not out after 12 hours of water breakage, which would be sometime in the afternoon, the doctor would have to consider C-section. At 2pm, the doctor ordered to increase induction medication to 15mil. The pain intensified, but… either the nurse got used to mommy being there or they were cutting some slacks for mommy after the torture of so many internal checkup… the nurse went about their business as normal. Then, one second I was still managing the contraction with the breathing technique that the nurses had taught me; the next I cried out loudly in unbearable pain. I saw all three nurses jumped up from their seats and rushed to my side. One yelling “don’t push, you’ll hurt yourself;” one yelling “get the doctor;” and I had no clued what your daddy was doing or where he was standing. The pain was so awful that all I could do was yelling and crying and moaning… very, very loudly, just like it showed on TV and movies… and I had thought they were mere exaggerated acting before this experience!!! All I remember was get pushed into the delivery room, switch to the delivery table… all the while continued screaming and the nurses kept saying “don’t push, you’ll hurt yourself” and “don’t scream, you’ll run out of energy” … as if I can mentally process what they were saying and physically control what my body was automatically responding to the pain. Then I felt the rush of you coming out. My body was still imprinted with the painful memory that every touch hurt when they were “cleaning up.”
According to daddy, from the moment I let out that first cry to you coming out, it was less than 20 minutes. After daddy changed and get inside the delivery room, you came out in less than 10 minutes. Obviously, he had not had the time to set up the video taping equipments… nor does he have the mind to, he was so freaked out with my screaming. I did recall him stood by me and hold (?, not sure if he did , but I think he tried) my hand and mumbled something soothing (whatever it was, it was not effective).
So, my little Anakin, that was how you came into this world… without the video footage. Not that mommy and daddy love you any less, but your grand entry caught all of us off guard, even the doctor!!
You are a baby more wonderful than anyone can ever hope for.
So far, at 6 days old, you have been more wonderful than I can ever imagine possible. You sleep, you wake up to eat, you go back to sleep, on a very routine 2 hour schedule. You only said “ah” when you wake up and ready to eat. Only when we try your patience by changing your diaper before feeding you after you wake up that you eventually cry loud… even then, you would stop crying when we change hands holding you. You probably thought we are ready to feed you for you would stop crying for a minute after changing hands, then start crying again if you found that nipple still hasn’t come.
Your brother Aaron adores you and you tolerate his holding quite well, even though it must have been uncomfortable for you. You accept that Aaron would talk and sing loudly, move about in the bed, touch you here and there while you were sleeping… and you continue sleeping!
All in all, you are worth every pain and agony.
We name you Anakin, which means warrior, hoping that you will have in you the courage and honor of a true warrior in defending and pursuing your believes in life. But, before then, you probably will have to defend your place first, since your brother Aaron is a very attached and demanding child.
Welcome and I love you~